What Is Value?

The question “what is value” has been debated for hundreds of years in the realm of philosophy. One perspective is that value is intrinsic or objective—meaning the value is imposed by some higher power or created by the labor that goes into making a product/service. The other diametrically opposed view is that it is entirely subjective—meaning it’s whatever the person wants it to be.

But in truth, you cannot solve the puzzle “what is value” without first answering the questions to whom and for what. And this is where economics comes in.

The objective theory of value morphed into a labor theory of value as explained at length by Karl Marx in his work, Das Kapital.1 However, this line of thinking led to a ...

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